Staten Island, New York – Four Staten Island professionals have collaborated to create one massive entertainment center where clients of all ages and backgrounds can get fit, delve into the arts, and learn about new subjects all under one roof.
The entrepreneurs set out to combine their talents and experience to open The Fusion Programs, a 4,800-square-foot center in Dungan Hills, in September.
The all-inclusive facility designed to foster the unique talents and interests of children, teens and adults is the brainchild of National Board-certified teacher Maria Casal and her husband, George Casal, a creative artist, who reside in the New Dorp and own LEAP Tutoring Academy. They cooperated with the former Olympic athlete Frank Mensah Dean Campione, an adaptive programmer, both Olympic FitAnd a perfect “fusion” happened.
“The collaboration comes between Frank and I dealing with 21-year-olds as well as post-special education, and post-secondary school,” Campione explained. “So hmm [The Casales] They did not get into an adult part of it. And then when we all collaborated it became a beautiful and creative collaboration.”
Fusion will offer classes in technology, coding, cosmetics, aesthetics, fitness, dance, culinary arts, gaming, stage arts, social media, and DIY classes. [do it yourself] Art projects, as well as learning how to take talent into the production arena on YouTube, Maria Casale said.
“Each of us created a model for delivering high-quality software,” she said. “Educator, athlete, graphic artist, and adaptive programmer has proven to be an amazing combination of talent, motivation, and dedication. Fusion Programs are a unique blend of innovation and recreation, located in a beautiful state-of-the-art facility.”
caters to all ages
The center’s programs include activities and lessons for people ages 2 and up.
“Our range of programs will be available for children, teens and adults. Integration programs were founded because of the need to provide creative outlets for individuals to express,” said George Casal. “Whether you love cooking, nutrition, health, art, media production, or photography. , fitness, sensory-inspired play spaces, drama, coding, digital art and avatar creation, gaming, science or technology, Fusion has something for you.”
Campion noted that integration programs meet the needs of children and adults with neuropathy and special needs.
“Integration programs are unique in that you often see places that either cater to all special needs in one place or you all see places with neurotypical individuals,” Campion said. “You rarely see a mix.”
“For example, when our children, teens and young adults arrive, they are given options to customize their program for the day. They are invited to have a snack in the little café, park their belongings in a creative space and literally stay for hours to enjoy participating in the programs they love.”
Mensah had already been running a successful personal training business for over 20 years when he decided to collaborate with Maria and Jorge Casal.
Mensah opened a holistic model of his business with the help of Campion – a mother with a disability and a former adaptive programming specialist for the New York Public Library (NYPL). In 2017, Mansah developed Intisar ProgramAnd when Campione decided to retire from NYPL in 2021 after 34 years of service, Mensa seized the opportunity and offered her a place as director of programming at his company. Olympic Fit.
“Mensah has carefully and confidently orchestrated a way to include disabled people in his daily list of community classes. Campione said he takes his new clients to community centers and private gyms alongside exemplary individuals for strength training.
As owners of Leap Tutoring Academy – which has been working with children, teens and young adults for many years using multisensory educational approaches, such as Orton Gillingham and Touch Math – Casales has an extensive background in education.
During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Casales came up with the idea for integration programs, and began work at the facility on Cromwell Street in Dungan Hills, located directly across from the Leap Tutoring Academy.
“COVID has really opened our eyes to just how small the world really is. Why should young children, teens, and young adults travel to so many different facilities both on Staten Island and out of town to take a cooking class, a health and fitness class, an arts class, or even a gaming experience?” Maria Casal said.
“With this mindset, we decided to create a state-of-the-art facility to not only spark the interests of our students, but also to inspire and nurture hidden talents in those who typically develop, as well as those with special needs. [We realize] And both sectors need to socialize, be creative and find meaningful outlets as a real alternative to using their phones and playing on their iPads.”
A quick overview of the integration programs
Tabuk: 300 Cromwell Ave.
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